Written by: Ryan K
Originally posted: 10/22/2015
It's no secret I do a lot of shit your typical 30-year-old woman "shouldn't" do, like wear Hello Kitty pajamas (for irony ... yeah), quote Harry Potter on a daily basis, dress as Darth Vader for Halloween, drink out of an X-Men mug, eat baby food (apple sauce is totes baby food), sleep with a blankie I've had since I was born (I will have no secrets left by the end of the year) ... And this was all in the past week. Looks like we can tack on celebrating six months of life to the list.
Before you worry that I've really lost it, I would like to take this opportunity to explain. When I turned 30 in April, I wasn't doing so great. I had lofty goals of having some sort of big-deal extravaganza since I hadn't celebrated in so many years (THANKS ED), but that didn't quite work out as planned. Instead, I fell into a relapse that ultimately pushed me into residential care.
Well, guess what? Six months may not normally be anything to commemorate, but these six months are different. I've talked about everything I accomplished in resi, partial and TLH (need to make a glossary) to save my life from the eating disorder, but now I'll share a few lessons that have helped better the other parts of my life.
OK maybe let's not think about that just yet.
The original post can be found at www.ryandoesresi.com.
Written by: Momma B
Originally posted: 10/24/2015
Yes, this is another post about my eating disorder.
Oh, I'm sorry. (No, I'm not.) Are you sick of hearing about me talk about ED? Are you sitting there like, "Jesus....doesn't she have ANYTHING ELSE going on in her life right now?? Why can't she stop focusing on this one thing??"
FIRST OF ALL....
I have to focus on this one "thing" because if I don't focus on it then it will spiral completely out of control again! I would rather not spend another entire season in a treatment center #thankyouverymuch. I am doing my best to keep moving in the right direction towards recovery. It is not easy. In fact, it is pretty much near impossible to do it without any slip-ups.
Here is my metaphor for this post!
Imagine being on a wild horse drawn carriage ride that is barreling down the bumpiest road, full of potholes and bumps, where you keep getting thrown out of the damn wagon and you keep jumping back in and trying to hold on for dear life. The best you can hope for is that you are heading in the right direction, but as you are really just trying not to die, you have no idea which direction you are actually heading in or what the hell is going on or what the hell you are supposed to be doing or how to get the damn horses under control and to find a road that is actually straight and paved and jesus how long is it going to take to get to the end and is there an end and OMG HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE DON'T HORSES HAVE TO STOP AT SOME POINT I CAN'T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!!!!!!!!
That, my friends, is recovery.
So. My life is all about focusing on that. My free time revolves around thinking about it, talking about it, making websites devoted to it. I have to keep it front and center in my mind so that I can remind myself that THIS is what is the most important goal right now. I need to remember to continue to work towards this goal every single day in order to live the life I want to live, to be the mom and wife I want to be.
My personal road to recovery has had so many ups and downs I never bothered to keep track. I literally take one moment at a time. I try to collect my "happys." I am mindful of all of the good things that I accomplish throughout the day. I have learned to accept any setbacks and to let them go and move on. I used to do the opposite. I'd throw away the happys, invalidating them because of my lack of self-worth. I'd collect my failures - it didn't matter how minuscule, and I'd keep them forever. I stored them up and used them over and over again as ammunition for my ED. I hated myself. ED hated me. It's easy to hate yourself when you've got a lifetime of failures in a filing cabinet in your head that you can call upon in a split second.
The game changed this summer when I flipped the tables on that bastard. I threw out that old jar of failures and now I keep the happys. Let me tell you, I like life a LOT better through this filter. I no longer spend all day every day berating myself. I smile and I mean it. I try to share my sunshine with others who are struggling because I actually have extra to spare these days.
So I'm going to keep my recovery at the front of my mind because that is what is working for me. If you don't want to deal with that, keep walking. This is me and this is what I am dealing with right now.
Stay well, my friends!
Original post can be found at www.randomfrequents.com.
Written by: Momma B
Originally posted: 10/11/2015
Did you ever try to make cookies out of your "own recipe" when you were a kid? Like just throw things into a bowl and expect them to turn into awesome gingersnaps or award-winning molasses schnitzerdoozles? (Don't even think about it - I'm trademarking it as we speak.) That is how I feel recovery is going right now.
I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING.
(Don't repeat that though, okay?)
I've finally finished residential and partial and I JUST got my outpatient team put together (haven't met all of them yet) so I'm just like "woo! I win! I win the recovery game! BINGO!!"
So where's my prize????
Seriously though. I have the basic ingredients here - a therapist, a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, a PCP, a meal plan, and a support team (my husband). So now we just make them t-shirts that say "Team B" and then they just kind of do their thing on their own and we're good for the next 60 years, yes? Because that's what my plan is.
I will make appointments with the team members, I will organize and clean my house, I won't do stupid things, I will not use behaviors, I will use food as fuel, I will use coping skills when needed, I will (try to) shower daily (*ahem* mostly), I will be honest with my support team (my husband), etc.
This is my plan. I have no idea if this is what my plan is supposed to be. However, I've ALWAYS been the one who just kind of flies by the seat of my pants and I usually seem to get to my destination all right.
I just need to remember that if one day seems really awful and terrible, odds are the next day will be much better. If I am feeling really shitty one minute, my feelings will probably improve within an hour. Nothing is permanent, everything is fluid. If you just ride it out, new days will come and the sun will shine again.
Just relax and hang in there kids. There is no finish line you need to be running towards. Stop and sit down and enjoy where you're at for a minute. You've got all the time in the world.
Original post can be found at www.randomfrequents.com
Written by: Ryan K
Originally posted: 10/08/2015
Have you ever sucked it up, turned off Gilmore Girls and put on some non-PJs to meet up with your friends because you knew the next day at brunch they would be recapping THE BEST NIGHT EVER? Social media isn’t just a glorified highlight reel; it’s also a major cause of FOMO aggravation. But what you can’t tell from that Instagram photo is everyone is mad at each other and then they all get mugged.
Er, hopefully not.
Going to residential treatment was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but it was also BY FAR the most difficult. Who the hell wants to go on medical leave from work and tightrope walk two million miles away from comfort? TRICK QUESTION. Nobody. But sometimes the toughest decisions change everything.
For anyone cautiously debating the idea of giving up freedom to live with strangers and be told what to do, I’ve put together some FAQs so you can see how I finally decided my life is worth saving.
Q: Honestly, I don’t even know if I have an actual problem. I might not?
A: I was awesome at convincing myself of this for a very long time, but chances are if you are questioning whether or not you have a problem, you probs got a prob. Why spend more time contemplating what to do while the illness further infiltrates your life? It’s never too late, but studies show higher rates of successful recovery for those with less ED tenure under their belt. I wish someone told me that a long time ago.
Q: So you’re saying nobody mentioned anything about your behaviors before? If they did, would you have gone to treatment right away?
A: Ha ha. No. Anyone who had the balls to say something to me was sucker punched. Not literally. WTF?? I am FINE. I don’t have a PROBLEM. Mind your own BUSINESS. Denial, thou art the most worthy accomplice. My hope for others is to not fight the instincts if something doesn't feel right. Hopefully with more awareness and less stigma, people will be less reluctant to ask for help.
Q: Residential care, though? Eh. Sounds inconvenient.
A: Back in April to some of my best supports from Walden, I confessed that I feared I may need resi, but that it’s just sooo inconvenient. One girl responded, “No offense, but so is death.” Touché, my friend. Touché. I’m sure death is slightly more inconvenient than medical leave, but the truth is there is no good time to go to treatment, or to make any other big life decisions for that matter. There just isn’t. If you’re waiting around for the “right time,” I really hope you brought a good book. A trilogy, maybe. Takes a lot of courage to stop everything and put yourself first but in the end, you’re all you’ve got.
Q: Literally nobody I know struggles with this. Nobody will understand.
A: Aside from one friend, I thought I was the only person in the world who struggled with this. Alllll by myselffffff. One is the loneliest number. Surprisingly, I learned that no, I am not the only person, and yes, people do understand what I go through. Like, really really understand. Like what’s wrong with you people? Others may not understand exactly, butwho doesn’t understand struggle? TRICK QUESTION. Nobody. I like trick questions. Anyway, you’d be surprised at how many people will be there if you let them in.
Q: What else helped you take the leap?
A: Slowly dying in the hospital helped. Funny to think I ended up at Brockton Hospital after a horrible commuter rail accident in 2011 (subsequently resulting in brain surgery), and then made my triumphant return during an aggressive relapse earlier this year. My reappearance happened only a few days after I went back to Walden for reevaluation and was told I need residential treatment but there were no beds available, so I should take medical leave and try partial hospitalization again. I liken this to having a severe open wound requiring stitches but the doctor dunno how to stitch so please come back and get a nice Sesame Street Band-Aid for a small fee. Brockton Hospital was also where I discovered my blood pressure and pulse were dangerously low. Really no bueno. Even then, I wasn’t sure about residential. I need to go to work! Work is very busy! At a family dinner a few nights after I left the hospital, my cousins encouraged me to check into the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center. But what about work?? OK so I’ve fucked up a lot of my relationships and am killing my body, but I do well at work! Yeah maybe for now, but that shit is not sustainable. The illness had already started slowly invading my professional life and it wouldn’t be long until I could no longer maintain my façade. Plus I really wasn't fooling anyone. I was afraid to let my team down but apparently I'm no good to anyone if I’m not around.
Q: OK … What would I tell people?
A: That, my friend, is a doozy and a half. I’ve been all over the map with this one, from not even letting myself in on the secret (#denial) to letting only one person know for a good five years to finally telling my family to now openly discussing my disorder all over the Interwebs. The decision is yours and you don’t owe anybody anything; do what feels right for you. As for work, I found the simple “I had a personal matter I had to focus on but everything is OK, thank you!” was plenty. People are generally respectful and sure, some may talk and gossip and all that garbage but that’s on them and doesn’t need to mess with your mojo.
Q: So are you cured?
A: Double down doozy. I believe that completely recovering from my eating disorder will be the most difficult challenge I will ever overcome in my entire life. I have yet to experience childbirth and all that jazz, but I don’t care; I’m sticking with ED recovery. I would love to tack on “but I’m all better now!” after announcing the disorder and make this a true success story, but I can’t honestly say I am completely better now. Despite making giant leaps and bounds of progress,I’m not quite there yet, but I will be. Recovery is possible for everyone. I am nowhere near the same place I was one year ago and I genuinely can’t wait to see what the next year will bring, one day at a time.
Q: Wait so I would take medical leave and go live in a treatment center and not be guaranteed recovery?
A: Does going to college guarantee a job? No, but you're better equipped to get one. Hopefully. I don’t believe anyone walks out after discharge completely healed, but most people are much better off. Despite not considering myself completely recovered (yet), I’ve learned so much about myself and how to productively tackle life’s challenges, ED-related or not. Now, I like myself again. I like life again. It's nice here. I think I'll stay a while.
Moral of the story: If you have to go to resi, don't be afraid of missing out; be afraid of what you'll miss if you don't.
Original post can be found at www.ryandoesresi.com.